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Open Mike 21/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 21st, 2016 - 125 comments
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125 comments on “Open Mike 21/12/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    The government’s support of the liquor industry is costing us socially, financially and morally. Our lax laws on alcohol are destroying so many lives.

    A strong and courageous government would tackle these booze barons and drug peddlers. Our mob sadly is beholden to them and takes their tainted money.

    Again, another example of this country’s corrupt ‘elite’that defends international corporate power against the country’s citizens.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11770517
    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/87785603/one-in-four-hospital-ed-admissions-related-to-alcohol

    • Cinny 1.1

      Blessings on the Summer Solstice Paul 😀 Solstice begins today and the weather here is just stunning.

      I’m so with you on this, so over the damage of alcohol, over the beatings, the killings, the child abuse, the bullying, the rapes over everything that goes with it. People lose control of themselves in the most aggressive way and it’s horrid and they can’t even remember what happened the next day.

      National was responsible for lowering the drinking age and allowing alcohol to be sold in supermarkets. Yes they are the enablers, and we wonder why we have such a drinking problem in NZ.

      How much of our health budget goes towards drunks at A&E? Too much I’d say, and we wonder why our health system is being stretched.

      We see glamorous advertising on the TV, flyers in the newspaper and letter boxes and then it’s in our face right next to the fruit and vege at New World. Shameless promotion of the national parties class B drug of choice, readily available to so many. Paul Henry on the fucken TV swilling it down before 9am, what a fucken hero not. Excuse language but it’s something I feel very strongly about. Am not anti alcohol I’m anti drunk idiots, big difference.

      Good on you Dr Bonning for speaking out and good on the Herald and Stuff for giving it coverage.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        I’m anti alcohol.
        It is a destructive drug which we promote at our peril.
        Imagine if we saw advertisements for other Class B Drugs.
        We should be tackling it the way Portugal tackles hard drugs.
        It should be legal – but that’s about all.

        • Cinny 1.1.1.1

          Personally I’m not into drinking, I don’t like not being in control of my own body, I don’t have a drinking problem never have. And it’s funny because so many people become shocked that I don’t drink, like I’m a weirdo. It’s like oh she must be an alcoholic if she doesn’t drink.. um no it just makes me on to it.

          Freedom of choice with loads of education is so important. And because I don’t drink my kids are anti alcohol, helps to show them the drunks on the telly in the big cities. Kids are smart, even they can’t fathom why everyone drinks. One time when the kids were with their dad (ex husband) at a bbq my youngest almost drowned, because yarning with a friend while drinking beers was more important than keeping an eye on the kids in the pool.

          However I won’t lie I do smoke pot and my drink of choice at a party is a cuppa tea. Yes I rock on up with my teabags and milk, even at the biker parties. Funny thing is the bikers never give me a hard time about preferring to drink tea rather than booze. Ironic really.

          • Carolyn_nth 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I think when I say I don’t drink, people must either assume I have a drink problem, ….. or, most noticeably, they seem to treat me as a socially/religiously conservative, up-tight person.

            I’m not religious, and reckon I’m pretty strong on fairly strongly left-wing on social policies and social issues.

            • Cinny 1.1.1.1.1.1

              ikr and it’s nutters, you don’t drink dang something wrong with us, i’d call it intelligence 😀 Hey I’ll tell you something funny Carolyn, sometimes my friends ring to ask me to come and pick them up cause they are too drunk to drive. I relish this… am so cheeky.

              I rock on up and loudly announce that the ‘cougar taxi’ is here, shit it’s funny.

    • tc 1.2

      C’mon Paul, national Mp’s including former PM shonky have extensive financial interests in wineries and probably shares in the big brewers etc so that’s never happening while they remain in govt.

      Even if they did, they’d be reimbursing or compensating those effected with other taxpayer subsidies ensuring personal gain using public resources…a well worn theme with national.

    • dv 1.3

      How about the hospitals charge the cost of treating alcohol related injuries to the alcohol industry.
      A fund could be set up paid for by the alcohol industry for hospitals to claim back the costs of treatment. Sort of like hospital do with accidents and the ACC

      • Paul 1.3.1

        And some other ideas.

        Stop all advertising for alcohol.
        Start Public Education Programme and publicise heath warnings ( eg alcohol is a carcinogen)
        More counselling services to assist with issues that caused alcohol addictions
        Stop supermarket sales
        Raise taxes – as has been done with cigarettes
        Plain packaging of alcohol
        Make it illegal for foreign companies to have a share in any alcohol sale in New Zealand – to make it harder for governments to be lobbied by massive corporate interests
        Divest all government savings and funds from investing in liquor.
        Cut funding for sports that continue to take drug money.
        Aim to make alcohol ‘uncool’ as smoking has become.
        And most importantly, deal to the economic system that makes people so in need of a class b drug.

      • Cinny 1.3.2

        Good idea DV, but the problem would still be there

        • greywarshark 1.3.2.1

          Cinny
          But thinking of it as a now problem where the hospital staff are working at the drunkface, and the financial problems that the booze causes the administration, a special tax on booze that gets paid to hospitals to aid staff and provide security and repair booze-nut damage would be good.
          http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11770517

          Then of course there is the treatment of booze damaged people who become a blot on society after they have spoiled their own lives and family relationships. That is a cost to hospitals and the health budget of the nation.

          Then there is my observation that killing people with a car after you have had a drink or two is not treated as seriously as shooting, knifing someone personally. Recidivist drink drivers are a menace to society and there should be prison farms where they are confined and can work to help support themselves away from temptation where they should be able to have a happy life and society be safe instead of society being co-dependent.

    • The government’s support of the liquor industry…

      I’m not sure you can call intensive regulation and the application of excise duty “support”…

      • Paul 1.4.1

        1. Attempts to regulate the liquor industry properly have been frustrated by the government. The main recommendations from an enquiry were completed ignored.

        2. Saturation advertising tends to make ‘citizens’ want alcohol.
        Attitudes to cigarettes have changed without the marketing propaganda.

        • Psycho Milt 1.4.1.1

          Attitudes to cigarettes have changed because these days people won’t put up with other people blowing smoke all over them and stinking the place up, and because cigarettes make you die – not because the government banned their advertising, much as the government might want to take the credit for it.

          Also, cigarettes are a classic example of what happens when the government lets hand-wringers persuade it to over-regulate and over-tax a recreational drug: we’re now seeing armed robberies and a black market specifically for cigarettes. Let’s learn from that debacle and not follow the same path with alcohol.

          • Paul 1.4.1.1.1

            Maybe people are also sick of drunks punching them and raping them.
            Alcohol also kills people . It is a high level carcinogen and causes cirrhosis of the liver for starters.
            I’m amazed you don’t think advertisements influence people. I wonder why corporates spend so much on them.
            I sense you are just being a contrarian for the sake of it.
            I don’t debate with climate change deniers and I won’t wSte my breath on someone talking the bs you are about alcohol.

            • Psycho Milt 1.4.1.1.1.1

              Maybe people are also sick of drunks punching them and raping them.

              We have a criminal justice system to deal with people who commit crimes. If you have complaints about it, that’s for another post because it’s another subject.

              Alcohol also kills people . It is a high level carcinogen and causes cirrhosis of the liver for starters.

              If you drink enough of it, sure. The same is true for a lot of food and drink, and the best advice is not to consume enormous quantities of things. Cigarettes are in an entirely different category: they’ll kill you when used as directed.

              I’m amazed you don’t think advertisements influence people.

              Of course advertisements influence people. I just think you’re overstating the level of influence.

      • Cinny 1.4.2

        PM did you know that at least a third of all police recorded offences are committed by an offender who has consumed alcohol prior to committing the offence.

        But don’t let the facts get in the way of your argument.

        • Psycho Milt 1.4.2.1

          Did you know that nearly half of all police recorded offences are committed by an offender who is Maori?

          People with an agenda often misuse facts.

          • Paul 1.4.2.1.1

            How are facts about alcohol and crime misused?
            How are facts about alcohol and sexual abuse misused?
            How are facts about alcohol and hospital usage being misused?
            How are facts about alcohol and violence being misused?

            Do you work for the liquor drug industry or have you benefited from their largesse?

            • Psycho Milt 1.4.2.1.1.1

              How are facts about alcohol and crime misused?

              See Cinny’s comment 1.4.2.

              It contains an implied argument:
              Premise: It is a fact that a third of crime is committed by people who are drunk.
              Conclusion: therefore, alcohol is responsible for a third of crime and something must be done about alcohol.

              My comment demonstrates the misuse by providing a more-obviously-wrong example of the fallacy:

              Premise: it is a fact that nearly half of crime is committed by people who are Maori.
              Conclusion: therefore, Maori are responsible for nearly half the crime and something must be done about Maori.

              Do you often struggle to understand the meanings of people’s arguments?

              • Psycho Milt – the fallacy you describe is one I witness often around the council table. I wonder how well your explanation is received by Paul et al as providing it to my fellow councillors has been an exercise in futility; can those who use it, get their heads around the reasoning? I just don’t know. Maybe Paul’s response will show.

                • Once was and others etc

                  @ Robert.
                  PM is a ‘sophisticated drinker’ and ‘personally responsible’.
                  Far be it for others to lecture him on why we should tighten up on liquor laws because ‘others’ (probably a majority) aren’t as sophisticated as he is.

                  It’s probably pointless debating with a ‘respectable’ pisshead anyway.
                  I just saw one in the supermarket (a Nat MP of high profile). He came complete with hangers-on – one with a walkie talkie heading for the wine racks ffs!

                  • Once was and others etc

                    I’m not sure what happens though when the entire population of people that consume alcohol claim to be ‘sophisticated drinkers’ and are ‘personally responsible’.
                    Probably not much different from now – it’s everybody else that’s the problem……….and we get to nowehere.

                    We once had a 6 o’clock swill. Not much has changed really except we’ve shifted it to the early hours of the morning

                  • Thanks for providing an example of the “exercise in futility” Robert mentioned.

        • dv 1.4.2.2

          OK so let the police charge back to the alcohol cost fund too.

      • Siobhan 1.4.3

        Too many links, but you can start with this one. An oldie but a goody on how the Government supports the alcohol industry..

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7994823/Liquor-lobbyists-press-Collins

        • Psycho Milt 1.4.3.1

          The government agreeing with industry lobbyists rather than anti-alcohol lobbyists over increased restrictions on the sale of alcohol also isn’t what I’d call “support.” If Collins had decided the other way and increased restrictions on the sale of alcohol, would that mean the government was “supporting” anti-alcohol activists?

    • Also:

      …another example of this country’s corrupt ‘elite’that defends international corporate power against the country’s citizens.

      1. Who do you imagine is buying all this alcohol? Hint: it’s the country’s citizens.

      2. Who doesn’t want greater restrictions/taxes on alcohol? The country’s citizens, for reason 1 above.

      • Cinny 1.5.1

        PM.. whom has done the enabling?
        The National Party, they are the ones that lowered the drinking age and allowed alcohol in supermarkets.

        Class B legal drug it is. Whom allows promotion of it via advertising etc… the national party. Whom does not want pot to be decrimilised because it might cut into the profits of their legal class B drug… the national party.

        PM are you an enabler? Do you condone the violence, the rape, murder, the abuse of children and others and the abuse of hospital staff? The national party does, otherwise they would have taken action rather than making alcohol more accessible.

        I wonder how many alcohol related beatings there will be this Christmas? Are you ok with that PM? If not what do you suggest, or are you reliant on the alcohol so are anti anything being done about it?

        Remove all alcohol advertising
        Remove alcohol from supermarkets

        I’d like more done, but that could be a start.

        • Carolyn_nth 1.5.1.1

          Wasn’t JK the one giving away bottles of wine from his winery (supposed to be part of his blind trust)?

        • Psycho Milt 1.5.1.2

          PM.. whom has done the enabling?
          The National Party, they are the ones that lowered the drinking age and allowed alcohol in supermarkets.

          Pedant corner: “Who” has done the enabling – no ‘m’ on the end.

          Yes, those are among the few things the National Party has managed to get right, and much appreciated by the nation’s drinkers (ie, most of the country). How is that a problem?

          Class B legal drug it is. Whom allows promotion of it via advertising etc… the national party. Whom does not want pot to be decrimilised because it might cut into the profits of their legal class B drug… the national party.

          Er, the National Party and the overwhelming majority of the country’s voters. I don’t care much about the advertising, other than that, as a general principle we should avoid imposing restrictions on people unless there are compelling reasons for it, but there is no political party outside of the Muslim countries that could propose criminalising alcohol and expect to be elected to government.

          PM are you an enabler? Do you condone the violence, the rape, murder, the abuse of children and others and the abuse of hospital staff? … etc

          Cinny, have you stopped beating your wife?

          • Cinny 1.5.1.2.1

            PM i have been a beaten wife so pull your fucken head in for starts. Ever been kidnapped? How about having a gun or a knife held to your head? Have you been kicked in the face by steelcaps because you left a cup on the table.. I have. Yeah take the piss out of domestic violence why don’t ya.

            And you know what more power to me for getting through that. I don’t usually bring that up to anyone, my story, but seeing you mentioned it above, i thought i would.

            I don’t want to criminalize alcohol, I just want people to wake the fuck up at the damage it does and find some better ways to deal with what is obviously a massive problem in this country.

            You can turn a blind eye all you want, but that still does naught to solve the issue.

            So what do you suggest is done about NZs alcohol problem and the abuse A&E among others are suffering?

            • Paul 1.5.1.2.1.1

              Don’t waste your time on him.

            • Psycho Milt 1.5.1.2.1.2

              So what do you suggest is done about NZs alcohol problem and the abuse A&E among others are suffering?

              For a start, we could stop blaming alcohol for the actions of people. “He wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t been drunk” is no more relevant to consideration of someone’s actions than “He wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t been angry/greedy/misogynist/you-name-it.”

              Re the specific A&E problems, until we get people to stop thinking alcohol excuses their behaviour (which we’ve managed pretty successfully with drunk driving) we just have to fork out for security guards in A&E and make sure anyone who gets abusive or violent to paramedics or A&E staff gets prosecuted aggressively and sentenced accordingly. I’d be happy to see attacking or interfering with a paramedic or A&E worker counted as a severe aggravating factor at sentencing. It would be good if we started treating intoxication as an aggravating rather than mitigating factor as well.

              • So, Psycho Milt – no controls over the supply of alcohol or its promotion?
                Would you regard other behaviour changing drugs in the same way you do alcohol ( “He wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t been baked”)?

                • …no controls over the supply of alcohol or its promotion?

                  Wouldn’t go that far, but we already have plenty and certainly don’t need any more.

                  Would you regard other behaviour changing drugs in the same way you do alcohol ( “He wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t been baked”)?

                  Some drugs have more of a case to be made, eg they can induce hallucinations or psychosis. I’m dubious about disavowing agency even in those cases, though – if someone goes on a “P-fuelled rampage,” they’re pushing it uphill if they want to claim they had no idea that was a potential outcome of taking P.

                  • “…we don’t need any more.” Agreed. Further regulation will drive the issue further into the public realm where individuals make their decisions. Do they need assistance to make those? Should we weaken the arm of the industry devoted to profiting from alcohol sales? It has to go somewhere.
                    Re: “…they want to claim they had no idea that was a potential outcome of taking P” – decisions made at that juncture are difficult to tie to responsibility, I reckon. It’s such a vexed topic, this. Best to go for the most effective actions with regard the hoped-for outcome.

              • Naki man

                “Re the specific A&E problems, until we get people to stop thinking alcohol excuses their behaviour (which we’ve managed pretty successfully with drunk driving) we just have to fork out for security guards in A&E and make sure anyone who gets abusive or violent to paramedics or A&E staff gets prosecuted aggressively and sentenced accordingly. I’d be happy to see attacking or interfering with a paramedic or A&E worker counted as a severe aggravating factor at sentencing. It would be good if we started treating intoxication as an aggravating rather than mitigating factor as well.”

                I think that is a great idea, when i was a volunteer fireman a couple of us had to hold down a drunk aggressive driver who was trying to pull the ambos off a patient with a back injury. He had driven at pedestrians on the footpath, hit a power pole and badly injured one of his passengers.

                • Once was and others etc

                  Faaaaaaaaaaark!
                  ” I’d be happy to see attacking or interfering with a paramedic or A&E worker counted as a severe aggravating factor at sentencing. It would be good if we started treating intoxication as an aggravating rather than mitigating factor as well.”

                  There’s something we agree on.
                  But then how would you deal with PM? – the ‘sophisticated drinker’?

                  • You keep putting “sophisticated drinker” in quotation marks as though it were a claim I’d made, which it isn’t. That’s effectively a lie, and you should stop doing it.

              • Red Hand

                Alcohol has an effect on the actions of people and so does anger, greed, misogyny etc.

                The difference is that alcohol is something people consume (willingly or unwillingly) but anger, greed and misogyny are already inside them and outside influences can only change what is already there.

                Alcohol consumption due to addiction or peer pressure, in my opinion is a mitigating factor in people’s harmful actions because it weakens willpower.

                Interestingly, I know people who say that as free individuals they do what they like and yet drink excessively.

            • Gosman 1.5.1.2.1.3

              This is why policy should be made with the minimal of emotions.

            • In Vino 1.5.1.2.1.4

              Cinny – you should know that the question, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” (regardless of what you have lived through) was always the standard example quoted by English teachers of a leading question, which condemns the replier even before he/she answers. That is the only reason Psycho Milt used it.
              Your response is as unsatisfactory as the leading questions you asked.

              • Cinny

                In Vino (how apt is that name for this discussion in vino – in wine truth – sounds like someone enjoys the vino)

                Are you beating your wife? How is one supposed to respond to that if one is unaware of such a quote to start with? Shame on me for not knowing everything, I’ve never heard of that ‘have you stopped beating your wife’ thing before, but hey i guess i’ve learned something.
                Thanks for explaining it to me In Vino, at least someone took the time to do it
                Maybe any one whom loves the booze would have found any of my questions and responses unsatisfactory. JS

                The health professionals say they’ve had enough of boozers at the hospital clogging up the A&E and I say that putting security in there to help protect the staff is like putting a plaster on cancer.

                Goodness me they are talking about the drunks again on the wireless this morning, it’s still topical and obviously a problem in NZ.

                • In Vino

                  Yes Cinny, I do enjoy some vino without beating up medicos..

                  Didn’t mean to shame you, but you had come on so hard. Sorry.

                  For those who do the dugs, alcohol, violence, I suspect that restricting alcohol access in whatever way will achieve nothing. There are other social factors that have been wrecking us for many years – these people need hope and a belief in a positive future. Fiddling the price of alcohol will be an empty gesture.

                • I say that putting security in there to help protect the staff is like putting a plaster on cancer.

                  And increased restrictions on alcohol is like putting a carcinogenic plaster on a cancer. I proposed putting security guards in A&E as a temporary measure to provide some immediate relief; fixing the “cancer” involves refusing to blame alcohol for the actions of people. Your proposed solution would actually make the “cancer” worse, in that it puts the blame for people’s actions squarely on alcohol.

                  Apologies for the use of the phrase “Have you stopped beating your wife?” to reject your trap questions. It’s such a standard debating term I use it without thinking about how it would make a victim of domestic violence feel – which looks stupid now I write it down. I’ll think of another phrase to use in future.

                  • Cinny

                    PM & In Vino, thanks for your replies, there is something we can all agree on, too many are suffering due to booze and something needs to change. Its a matter i obviously feel passionate about, have seen too much misery due to booze across all walks of life. But hey i have learnt something from your comments, am always trying to look for a silver linings 😀

                    In the mean time over the silly season could you all do me a favour, if you see or hear abuse please take action, dont walk by or turn a blind eye. Because it does save lives, it really does and there are psycho abusive women out there as well as men, so many chicks go mental on the booze.

                    I honestly feel that many problems carry on because so many turn a blind eye, one time i dropped the glass bottle of milk i was carrying when walking home with him, he beat me on the side of the road, people just walked or drove past, no one stopped, and ive never felt so helpless as i did that day. And the really messed up thing, it was in a very well to do area, not all abusers are the stereotype people think they are.
                    I am lucky my abuser is dead, but i still react a bit strangely when certain things happen something i usually remember to keep in check. Apologies if my words were to strong in the comments above. Bit of a tender spot for me it is.

                    Okies better change the tune its getting a bit morbid.

                    Have a fun holiday season, the weather here today is stunning, may it be a wonderful summer where you are too. If you are ever in Motueka and see a chick chalking the sidewalk, come say hi.
                    Happy Solstice and Seasons Greetings 😀

        • Foreign waka 1.5.1.3

          I remember back then when the Supermarkets were first allowed to sell Liquor, restrictions regarding advertising and discounting were put in place.
          Have they been repealed?
          If you come to a supermarket you get bombarded with displays announcing “specials” and often the product is not separated from the food areas.
          I was under the impression that there is also a time restriction and who is policing that?
          This is like a sick joke, 100% access for all – the $ for the private business speaks louder than the carnage that is left for the taxpayer to pick up the costs. A true case of corporate welfare.

    • Red 1.6

      Cheers 😀

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    Rachel Stewart is all excited about the Silly Season….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11770187

    Challenges blind worshipers at the altar of Christmas Consumerism to put the planet and their children’s future first….capitalism will be the end of us.

    “It’s getting beyond urgent but, hey, let’s all have a cutesy cultural norm of a festive season. The economy depends on it, and the unequal wealth generated from it needs to be distributed to the usual suspects. Growth, growth, growth!

    While you’re sitting around the tucker table and raising a glass to family, all misty-eyed about how much you care about future generations, raise the subject of just how serious climate change is becoming. How the Arctic ice is melting as quickly as the ice cream left out of the freezer by Uncle Bob. See how that conversation goes down.”

    • Paul 2.1

      Rachel Stewart is superb.
      We need more fearless writers like her to challenge what we are doing.

      Here is another excellent excerpt.

      ‘Because here we are in 2016. The planet is burning in front of our eyes but we’re still going to buy those gifts, damn it! Because the world’s a grim and depressing place, so shut up and let me do this for strangers, as well as friends and family. I want to make them smile. Don’t judge me!

      But I am going to judge you, and judge you hard. Strap yourself in.

      If you’re not consciously thinking about this stuff, then you’re part of the problem.

      Study after study shows that consumption now dwarfs population as the main environmental threat on earth.

      Indeed, most of the extra consumption has so far been – but is rapidly changing – in wealthy countries that have long since stopped adding substantial numbers to their population. Like us.

      Moreover, is it making anybody happy? Will those carefully wrapped presents in all their plastic glory keep anyone deeply delighted for more than an hour or two? Let’s be honest with ourselves.

      Sure, I get that you want to please your kids but, really? Is this the way to go? Is there not an argument for opting out of this madness and telling them why?’

      • garibaldi 2.1.1

        I totally agree with all the sentiments above, but I just love expensive champagne on the 25th as a celebration of the season. Cheers everyone.

        • greywarshark 2.1.1.1

          garibaldi
          I dont need champagne, I know that was just an expression of joy in having a festive season and I agree with you. We have dreadful problems to face but if we face them by becoming grim and grinding down and refusing to have laughter, friendship, attempting to be kind to our annoying relations and looking to come together and enjoy the others, what is worth living for?

          Take the opportunity to give them a subscription to the New Internationalist magazine, to Greenpeace, a bar of chocolate. a lovely mat. a jute shopping bag all from Trade Aid, buy them a pack of Trade Aid tea from the supermarket.

          But keep being human and kind, not human and slightly vicious as we can find ourselves being so quickly, and so differently than our own understanding of ourselves. Everyone has a nasty side that gets managed but be aware, and have a look at it after the gift-giving and do something next year to help us all in the near future, and look at our beautiful planet, the colour of flowers, the delicacy of leaves, the kindness of strangers, the innocence of little toddlers trying to walk and help to give them something to walk to.

          • Anne 2.1.1.1.1

            Nice one greywarshark. Your last sentence… make sure we all do at least one of those things every day.

      • marty mars 2.1.2

        Have you opted out Paul – how did you do it?

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.2.1

          “Have you opted out Paul – how did you do it?”

          Sorry to butt in marty mars, but surely we should be asking ‘why did you opt in to this madness?’ rather than accept the default setting of ‘do christmas or forever be labelled as super grinch?

          Rachel Stewart is asking (and I do well understand what reaction this provokes) for folk to think carefully about why they are buying into this seasonal shit.

          Because, when you think about it…its really stupid.

          • marty mars 2.1.2.1.1

            Well I’m not a Christian or a follower of Santa. I do like the equinox and the coming together of family – so we celebrate ??? something anyway. The last 2 days the 2 year old has been playing a lot with a bit of cardboard on a small slope – doesn’t take much if the intent is there.

        • Paul 2.1.2.2

          Partly opted out.
          Stopped buying pap – instead buy food treats and clothes.
          No Secret Santa
          It helps that kids are now adult.

          I admire the way Rachel Stewart challenges us to consider our behaviours.
          We need more like her.

          • Carolyn_nth 2.1.2.2.1

            I just don’t buy stuff. But that’s agreed within my family. There’s nothing my family members are in need of. I do attend a family Christmas meal – though not always on Xmas Day – tis on the 24th this year. Is usually catered by my bro and his wife.

            In return (kind of) I usually donate something to the City Mission (in December and during the winter) – there are people more in need of give-aways than my family.

            I’m glad to read Stewart also doesn’t like secret Santa – I thought I was alone in that.

            And, yes agreed again with Stewart – need to do more to work/fight for a non-consumerist type of society, and for a sustainable environment in the age of life-threatening climate change.

      • Gabby 2.1.3

        Pompous moralising consumes precious oxygen and produces greenhouse gases. Would you consider smirking smugly while I pick at my own special lentil trifle as an acceptable rebuke to my less virtuous relatives?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3.1

          So, what’s your problem with considering the real world and how our delusional economic system affects it?

          • Gabby 2.1.3.1.1

            I just don’t think I’m pompous and selfrighteous enough. If I sat on a pointy stick and practised making ‘poffpoff’ noises would my rellies be more convinced of my rightness?

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3.1.1.1

              I just don’t think I’m pompous and selfrighteous enough.

              Actually, that’s exactly what you are as you dismiss reality and the damage that we’re doing by trying to use ad hominems. It’s the I’m right, you’re wrong BS that we always get from those too stupid to accept that the status quo is wrong.

  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    This article explains how identity politics divides us into smaller groups with limited power. We need to UNITE as the exploited to tackle the problems of exploitation of both people and the environment. In the coming election year we need to spend less time arguing about subtle differences between the groups of the exploited and combine our resources more effectively.

    Yesterday there was much media attention on Bill English’s “not a feminist” statement and Paula Bennett’s “most days a feminist” one. In the meantime, the still homeless, the Pike River families, the foreign students who have been defrauded, those trying to get on a waiting list for hospital operations, those looking after disabled family members 24/7, those struggling to pay rising rents, etc… remain in their desperate states. Instead of taking the attitude of ” well I don’t care about that because it doesn’t directly affect me” , we need to stick together and say ” this is yet another example of exploitation from a government which introduced a tax system which further advantaged the poor, and one which touts tourism as a great earner while encouraging farming practices which are rapidly degrading the very environment that attracts tourists. We need to call exploitation whatever the target.

    It’s not racism that creates the difference between classes; it’s capitalism. And it’s not anti-racism that can combat the difference; it’s socialism. We’re frequently told that black poverty is worse than white poverty—more isolating, more concentrated—and maybe that’s true. But why, politically, should it matter? You don’t build the left by figuring out which victim has been most victimized; you build it by organizing all the victims. When it comes to the value of universal health care, for example, we don’t need to worry for a second about whether the black descendants of slaves are worse off than the white descendants of coal miners. The goal is not to make sure that black people are no sicker than white people; it’s to make everybody healthy. That’s why they call it universal.

    • Paul 3.1

      Progressive parties forgot ( were too scared/too compromised ?) to focus on economic and class issues and instead focused on identity politics.
      The result – 30 plus years of neoliberal economics , with all the ensuing social issues.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        That ‘analysis’ is flawed paul – change your lens. The rise of neoliberalism is a direct result of leftish parties being SUCKED in to the economic debate – as if it is the be all and end all. You have it completely wrong and round the rong way too.

    • No link

      Anyone in the thick of ‘identity politics’ knows it is never a them or us scenario and it isn’t the oppression olymipics either – those concepts are used to deride ‘identity politics’ whether by the right, the economic pointy heads, those that think class is everything or at least the main thing and other assorted lefties, righties and centreees and so on. Always reminds me of, “Hey guys let’s work as a team and do it my way”

      • Carolyn_nth 3.2.1

        Yes. And as I said yesterday, there’s more than one kind of feminism.

        And critiques of some vague, misinformed notion of “identity politics” don’t get to define other people’s feminist views and politics.

        The caricature of feminism that is invoked by anti-identity politics folk, is more that of “liberal feminism”

        Judith Collins yesterday said her feminist influences were Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem – puts her in the ranks of liberal feminists. They tend to want equality within the existing capitalist and patriarchal system – usually through changes to the law.

        Then there’s Eco-feminism,

        socialist feminism,

        anarcho-feminism,

        radical feminism – though contrary to that definition, some radical feminists also agree with Marxist critiques of society.

        and more. Some people probably are more social democratic feminists.

        Basically, feminism tends not to stand out on its own separated from other kinds of politics. Feminists also tend to have other political views that are integrated with their feminist values and politics.

      • Carolyn_nth 3.3.1

        Capitalism was built on the backs (and lands and resources) of black and brown bodies, as well as those of the white working classes.

        Racism, initially in the form of imperialism/colonisation and chattel slavery, was intertwined with the growth of capitalism. And that legacy has been repeated from generation to generation.

        I wrote a bit about that, as happened in the US, in my 2 part review of the TV mini-series “Roots”.

        I commented on that historical legacy in Part Two:

        The abolition of slavery was replaced by what often was referred to as “wage slavery”, with a large number of young black men, and some poor white men, in the south of the US, working for little money in harsh, prison-like conditions. A high proportion of black such men ended up in prison. There they became cheap labour for the developing enterprises of the rapid industrialisation of the US, and the rise of capitalism (Fraser, pp. 50-3).

        “And while young African American males languished in industrial and agricultural prison camps, black women (if they weren’t also working in prisons, sometimes as unpaid prostitutes), once the helpmates of their husbands on small family plots, found work instead as wage earners in canning and tobacco factories, as domestics, in mechanized laundries and textile mills, and in the fields.” (Fraser, p.53)

        High unemployment was a frightening reality. The US’s early phases of industrialisation developed on the backs and bodies of the poor, a high proportion of them being black people.

        “… 35,000 workers died each year in industrial accidents, many of them skilled mechanics.…

        “The bones of thousands of workmen were encased in the concrete of dams and bridges…” (Fraser, pp. 56-57)

        Basically, if your into the oppression olympics, it can be argued that imperialism and colonisation and chattel slavery preceded and enabled capitalism – that it laid the foundation for capitalism.

        • marty mars 3.3.1.1

          Nice – interesting review.

          “This results in George being sold to an Englishman, and taken to England for over 20 years, leaving behind his wife Matilda (Erica Tazel) and several children.”

          That simple sentence sums up so much of the destruction of people, their families and all they hold important. So much contained within one sentence.

          I always thought slavery/racism against POC, was designed in those times, to ensure profits for the South. When the war finished the profits had to continue as best they could thus wage slavery and the various other ways to get work from someone for nothing began in earnest.

          • Carolyn_nth 3.3.1.1.1

            Thanks, Marty.

            Yes, chattel slavery (where the slave and his/her life was totally owned ) was replaced by wage slavery – but also by cheap prison labour, of which African-Americans made up a high proportion of the imprisoned. That prison labour was a significant part of the building of US capitalism.

            And that legacy continues today with the high proportion of African-Americans in 21st century prisons.

            And that destruction of families and things of value in people’s lives was a huge consequence of the the drive for wealth and power by the US dominant classes.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.4

      Weka linked to a post by Stephanie Rodgers, Public Service Association, last night…

      https://overland.org.au/2016/12/this-is-what-solidarity-looks-like/

      ….saying pretty much the same thing.

      I agree with all that is being said…but have doubts that the organisation SR works for actually follows the same philosophy.

      We all have a ‘group’ we identify with, whose particular needs dictate the lens through which we see and hear a conversation.

      Wearing our ‘disability community hats’ rather than our ‘pay family carers of disabled people’ hats we attended a meeting in Auckland a while ago organised by PSA and Auckland Disability Law.

      PSA were very concerned about the rights of care workers employed by disabled people using individulalised Funding. Employers could just ‘fire’ a worker for little or no good reason and hence these workers’ rights needed ‘protecting’ from their disabled employers.

      PSA, it seemed, had not considered the vulnerability of a disabled person who employs someone in good faith, then discovers they are not suitable for the work. These workers are coming into the disabled person’s home and performing care tasks of an extremely intimate nature and PSA seemed to be insisting that if there are problems then the disabled employer should be reasonable and give that employee another chance and let them work out their notice.

      I am not sure that I was able to explain just how unreasonable and potentially dangerous this stance was for the person with the disability…forced to use IF, and hence become an employer, by virtue of the fact that the services through Contracted Providers were so poor and inflexible.

      For all the PSA, and other unions have their roots firmly in the political struggle for workers rights, it had not occurred to PSA that Government policy had created the situation where a union was defending the rights of workers against people with significant impairments dependent of others for their most basic of care.

      • Olwyn 3.4.1

        That looks to be yet another instance of divide-and-rule, the thing that neoliberal governments are so good at. The problem seems to be the IF model, which pits the PSA, whose obligation is to advocate for workers, against the disabled and their advocates who must take the part of the employers. Solidarity would involve collectively challenging the IF model, but the disabled themselves might not have a unified attitude here – some might feel as if the IF model allows their concerns to be taken seriously at long last, while others might see it as making demands they are ill-equipped to meet. As long as people are stuck with the IF model, the next best solution is for both sides to actually listen to each other, avoid talking past each other and engage in good faith negotiation. You do not want workers thrown onto the scrap-heap, but you do not want the disabled employers being terrified of visits from their so-called employees either.

        • Rosemary McDonald 3.4.1.1

          “You do not want workers thrown onto the scrap-heap, but you do not want the disabled employers being terrified of visits from their so-called employees either.”

          No, you do not want disabled people terrified of visits from their caregivers, nor do you want carers thrown on the scrap heap.

          The caregiver is secondary in this situation.

          The thing that gets me is the latest bid by, I think PSA, to have guaranteed hours of work for home based carers. The very nature of the work is casual and often finite. If a carer want set hours and stable work and a predictable future then they should go and work in one of the hundreds of residential facilities.

          There is no shortage of care work, be it in facilities or private homes, for well trained, competent, honest, reliable and above all respectful carers.

          IF was born out if what was called ‘Discretionary Funding’, and what is known elsewhere as ‘Personal Budget” Most suited for those who need more flexibility around what is done for them and when.

          It soon became the default option for those with high and very high and complex care needs…the clients that the Contracted providers can decline to support…usually because they do not have staff with the right level of expertise…and hiring such workers would undermine their profit margin.

          It would be an absolutely fantastic scheme for many disabled people if there were not so many conditions on how one can use the funds.

          Ideally, the Miserly of Health should have said… “here’s $1500 per week….sort your own shit out and bother us no more.” But no, they just had to say you can’t pay this person and you must do that…the whole scheme is unreasonably complex.

          Then the unions jump in to protect ‘at risk’ workers and the very people who need a flexible way of sourcing the care that is vital to them are too scared to take up IF in case they end up in the Employment Court because they had to fire some fuckwit who turned up in the morning off their face from the previous night’s partying.

          Even the attempt to modify IF through what is called “Enhanced IF” has largely been a failure. I would put up a link to the evaluation report, but I can’t be bothered.

          You see, it’s all very well saying “avoid talking past each other and engage in good faith negotiation.” when it is the person with the disability who is going to be forced to compromise…again.

          And on a personal note…I was unimpressed to read that unions were concerned that if family carers were allowed to be paid as any other person doing the same work it would take employment away from those currently doing the work.

          Again…one group fighting for their rights not being supported, in fact being actively opposed by another group purporting to be defending the rights of others.

          It all gets very complicated…

          • Olwyn 3.4.1.1.1

            one group fighting for their rights not being supported, in fact being actively opposed by another group purporting to be defending the rights of others.

            It all gets very complicated…

            Everything you say highlights the difficulties involved in establishing real solidarity, especially given that the two groups you are talking about – disabled people and their caregivers – both have very limited rights in the first place.

  4. Morrissey 4

    Kiwi Ironman told kicking with Richie McCaw ‘tarnishes his achievements’
    TVNZ, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/other/kiwi-ironman-told-riding-lance-armstrong-tarnishes-his-achievements

    Ironman competitor Cameron Brown has been attacked on social media after publicly supporting disgraced footballer Richie McCaw.

    McCaw arrived in Auckland on Sunday and met with Brown for a kick around in an Auckland park.

    Brown took his son on the ride and posted a photo of the trio on Facebook, to which he was heavily trolled for his involvement with McCaw.

    “Well I am disappointed for you Cam in my view it tarnishes your achievements and he shouldn’t be validated by association with you. You grafted hard for everything you achieved you should protect that,” one follower commented.

    “Sorry Cam. But he was a relentless cheat. The way he and his team-mates ruined our memory of the 2011 RWC final with his cheating is possibly even worse than the way they cheated their opponents,” added another. “Cheat not to be looked up to.”

    However, not all were bad, with many people simply commenting on the meeting as “awesome”.

    Brown spoke of his admiration for McCaw on NewstalkZB, in spite of the ex-captain’s low reputation in France.

    “I watched him for 10 years competing in the All Blacks and it was quite incredible to kick with him,” Brown said. “I’d never met him before so it was pretty special. My little boy’s getting into rugby now so I took him along and Richie was great. I think he’s probably just trying to forget about the past and move on. And hopefully rugby fans can forgive him but probably there’s a lot of people—especially in France—that can’t.”

    However, the reaction to Brown and McCaw’s meeting drew severe reaction online, resulting in the Ironman withdrawing from a scheduled interview with Mike “Contra” Hosking this morning.

    • Red 4.1

      build a bridge, AB 8 Fr 7 end of story Ab RWC champions 2011 and just to cement the point likewise 2015, including 60 pt drubbing of Fr

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        Not the end of the story re 2011. The French have not forgotten, and neither have people in New Zealand who actually care for the integrity of the game.

        The “drubbing” of France in that disgraceful capitulation last year was nothing less than a joke. You noticed perhaps that France did not even compete?

  5. Morrissey 5

    Is Prince William in line for that 8:30-to-noon spot at NewstalkZB?
    Actually, compared to Leighton Smith, the prince is a silver-tongued devil.

    Tribute to Michael Phelps at the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

    Loud applause, whistling, clapping….

    GARY LINEKER: Uh, firstly, er, Your Highness, er, I’m sure you’d like to say a few words on behalf of everyone here, in fact everyone in the country.

    PRINCE WILLIAM: Thank you Gary. Uh, it’s a huge honour for me to be here this evening, ahhh, on what has been a, an incredible memorable year for, for sports. Ahhhh, it’s also a particular privilege to be here tonight Michael, ahhhh, to give you your lifetime achievement award. Ahhh, you’re one of the greatest sporting icons, ahh, this world has ever had and, ahh, your twenty-three gold medals —never mind all the other colours!— [supportive cluck from woman in audience]…. ahhhmm, uh, pales into, uh, sheer superhuman history.
    Uh, you should be so proud of your achievements and it’ll be many, many years before, if ever, anyone stands here again and calls you the greatest, um, athlete in history. So, many, many congratulations and hopefully your retirement gives someone else a chance now!

    Laughter and applause…

  6. Andre 6

    Fake news is a genuine problem that needs addressing. But jeez, this proposed “solution” looks worse than the problem.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/german-fake-news-fines_us_585843d5e4b03904470a1dfb

  7. food for thought

    “For the first time ever, scientists have observed the light spectrum of antimatter. ALPHA, an international collaboration based at CERN, made history by capturing a measurement of the optical spectrum of the 1S-2S transition in trapped antihydrogen. Progressing scientific techniques in this area will lead to more precision comparisons of antihydrogen and hydrogen, further illuminating the mysterious study area of antimatter. With this breakthrough from the ALPHA collaboration, a new era of research begins.”

    http://inhabitat.com/scientists-observe-light-spectrum-of-antimatter-for-the-first-time-ever/

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Along a similar vein. Astronomers discover galaxies:

      Among the thousand-plus galaxies in the Coma cluster, a massive clump of matter some 300 million light-years away, is at least one — and maybe a few hundred — that shouldn’t exist.

      Dragonfly 44 is a dim galaxy, with one star for every hundred in our Milky Way. But it spans roughly as much space as the Milky Way. In addition, it’s heavy enough to rival our own galaxy in mass, according to results published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters at the end of August. That odd combination is crucial: Dragonfly 44 is so dark, so fluffy, and so heavy that some astronomers believe it will either force a revision of our theories of galaxy formation or help us understand the properties of dark matter, the mysterious stuff that interacts with normal matter via gravity and not much else. Or both.

      There’s exiting stuff being found through science.

    • Carolyn_nth 7.2

      And also this I saw on Al Jazeera news today:

      New Jet Stream discovered below earth’s crust

      A team of European scientists has identified a surprising new feature of the Earth’s outer core – a molten river of iron hundreds of kilometres wide that’s speeding deep beneath Russia and Canada.

      Basically, earth’s magnetic field has been weakening over the centuries, and that field protects earth from the sun’s heat.

      furthermore, eventually there will be a polarity reversal – the magnetic characteristics of the 2 poles changing place.

    • One Two 7.3

      ‘Information’ published by those who control it should be regarded the same as that which is published from war zones and by financial entities

  8. greywarshark 8

    The eighth day of Christmas and another quote on Friendship.

    The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend. (or hers).
    Henry David Thoreau

  9. UncookedSelachimorpha 9

    A picture of the state of poverty in NZ from someone who knows:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/320931/departing-city-missioner-says-poverty-'a-scandal

    The real legacy of John Key – to be ably continued by his anointed successor.

  10. Ethica 10

    There was an interview on the radio with some rich ‘style queen’. She has been paid lots and lots of public money for the last 8 years to tell poor young people how to dress to get a job. She goes along to those boot camps which Paula B started and which young unemployed people have to go on or lose their benefit. They have no evidence base but are a good way to privatise public money. She is one who personally profits by getting paid some exorbitant rate.

    I know some young people who have been on these camps. They are hard work and there is often misery and bullying. They endure them because they have no choice, but also there is that promise of a job at the end.

    But there is never a job at the end and getting back on the benefit can be another battle. And instead of having quality clothing and styled hair as recommended by the rich lady they are doomed to WINZ vouchers for a cheap pair of trackpants at the Warehouse.

  11. Andre 11

    More drama about whether the FBI asking for a warrant to look for new Clinton e-mails days before the election was even legal or violated the Fourth Amendment.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-subpoena-that-rocked-the-election-is-legal-garbage-attorney-say_us_58597cd9e4b03904470b0633

    • Anne 11.1

      From the link:

      “The warrant application seems to reflect a belief that any email sent by Hillary Clinton from a private email server is probably evidence of a crime,” Katkin said. “If so, then it must be seen as a partisan political act, rather than a legitimate law enforcement action.”

      Unbelievable though it is, that is exactly what appears to have happened. Such criteria means that everyone of us who sends an email to anyone on our private servers – which most of us do on almost a daily basis – is therefore potentially guilty of committing crimes. I wonder sometimes if that traitorous act on the part of FBI Director, James Coney and his pals will eventually bring down the Trump administration.

      Thanks for keeping us informed Andre.

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      The indicators of increasing community stress and displacement are all there. These stories are not going away, they are getting more frequent and worse and the Key/English National government have produced these outcomes, there is no doubt about it.

      I wonder if this is their form of collateral damage in that they saw the once great New Zealand as too fair and were determined to bring it into line with a decadent and gross America.

      Imagine what next winter is going to be like for some people in this country…

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        It’s what happens when the government gives all of the countries wealth to rich people. A few people become very well off while the rest suffer. We’ve seen this throughout history and the inevitable result is the collapse of society.

    • Red 12.2

      The pony tail saga seems to get you rather excited Paul

  12. Muttonbird 13

    Here we go. The circle is complete and the true intent behind the state house sell off becomes apparent.

    Private landlords lobby to buy state houses…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11770997

    • Wensleydale 13.1

      Oh, they want to “play a part in helping their community”. I bet they do. Increasing their portfolios and becoming increasingly wealthy would just be a fortuitous byproduct. Bless them.

      • North 13.1.1

        Wensleydale: “play their part in helping themselves to the community” more likely. Bless them.

  13. Sacha 14

    How Brexit, Trump are reactions to neoliberalism’s failure: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/the-brexit-trump-syndrome/

    • OneTrack 14.1

      Both are more likely a reaction to progressive leftism’s failure to protect citizens and their western culture.

  14. Stunned Mullet 15

    That’s some nice shanking of Trump and his secretary of state before leaving office.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38387525

    Well done Mr Obama.

  15. adam 17

    The media are messed up, here is a very good example.

  16. Draco T Bastard 18

    More fucken exploitation by corrupt businesses enabled by corrupt policies:

    Newshub can reveal four Indonesian welders working at a Napier sawmill have been getting paid little more than $3 an hour.

    It’s not illegal; in fact, our current visa rules allow it.

    The welders have been putting in the hard yards – working at Napier Pine, where they sleep on-site in a converted shipping container.

    It’s because of shit like this that is why we’re seeing increasing poverty in NZ.

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